A leading children’s disability charity is appealing for volunteers to help breathe new life into retail stock this summer. Staffordshire-based charity Newlife is offering valuable voluntary experience at its Opportunity Centre, in Cannock. The charity has found that volunteering figures can fall during summer months, but is providing students, retirees or anyone with a few spare hours the chance to boost skills on their CVs while helping disabled children. Newlife Services and Development Manager Sarah Coughlan says: “The Newlife Warehouse and Opportunity Centre exist to help us generate funds for disabled children. This means that when there’s a drop in volunteer numbers, we really feel it. We are asking for people to volunteer for Newlife as it makes a real difference and they can also be sure that they’ll build new skills which could help with future employment.” Volunteering has been shown to be a great way to boost employability and as more people chase less jobs it could be a great way to enhance job-related skills. Some Newlife volunteers have even gone on to become paid staff. Newlife recycles donated un-required stock from more than 400 retailers, high street stores and supermarkets and sells it at discounted prices at its outlet in Cannock. The profits are used by Newlife charity to fund vital equipment, nurse services, medical research and campaign activity. All stock is de-labelled to make it difficult for customers to take stock back to original retailers and seek refunds. Volunteers support the work of staff by processing stock before it hits the shop floor which could include mending broken jewellery. Those who take part can be sure they build up valuable skills for employment while helping to support the work of a charity. There is no minimum requirement of volunteer hours but most volunteers dedicate at least two hours each week. The Opportunities Centre opened in October 2008 as an extension of Newlife’s work with volunteers. Currently Newlife has volunteers who have disabilities and learning difficulties in addition to many able bodied adults and in the past has had volunteers who range from aged 15 to 83. For further details about Newlife see www.newlifetrading.co.uk or contact Sarah Coughlan on 01543 468 888 or email [email protected]
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